We know that learning isn’t limited to the classroom, but Singapore’s international schools are going one step further and regularly involving students in meaningful community service projects both here and further afield.
Students from UWCSEA, Singapore American School, Stamford American International School, Dulwich College (Singapore) and St Joseph’s Institution International were involved in a soup kitchen, charity walk, FoodBank, school sponsorship and building projects.
Expat Living found out more about their good deeds.
Project 1: Willing Hearts
Service partner: Each year, Grade 5 students from UWCSEA roll up their sleeves and help out at soup kitchen Willing Hearts, a Singaporean charity that prepares, cooks and distributes around 5,000 meals to over 40 locations island-wide, 365 days a year. This is just one of UWCSEA’s many local service programmes that provide students the opportunity to learn about others and the society that we live in. Students are encouraged to reflect on their experiences, attitudes and actions and how they can make a positive impact on the lives of others – both within the College and in the broader Singapore community, as well as countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, The Philippines and India.
Student testimonial: “A ‘willing heart,’ to me, means lending a helping hand, even when no one tells you to. You do it because you know it’s right. As a class, we all worked to earn money to buy packets of rice and proudly carried them inside the kitchen. As I walked around the kitchen, I saw many people, chopping vegetables and cooking in large pans, and everyone had a smile on their face. I can’t wait for my next visit when I can help out again!” Amelia Fung, 12.
1207 Dover Road
6775 5344 | uwcsea.edu.sg
Project 2: Walk for Water
Service partner: Lending a helping hand is a key part of the curriculum at Singapore American School (SAS), with service activities from kindergarten to Grade 8 and over 70 percent of Grade 9-12 students voluntarily participating in one of 45 service clubs, such as READ Bhutan, Outreach Vietnam and Habitat for Humanity. What’s more, each student is required to participate in a two-week service project before graduation. Recent trips include elephant conservation in Thailand, giant panda conversation in China and refurbishing a school in South Africa.
It’s against this backdrop that Walk for Water was conceived in 2013 by Grade 6 students Bryanna Entwistle, Sabrina Sain and Sophie Wir. The trio had the idea of walking across Singapore to raise money to build wells in Cambodia. Fast forward to 2016 and the annual Walk for Water event saw over 200 elementary, middle and high school students complete the 28-kilometre route and raise over $50,000 – enough to build over 250 wells in rural Cambodia!
Student testimonial: “As we begin to plan our fifth Walk for Water, we are looking for ways to expand. Our hope is to see it become a student-led, citywide event after we graduate in 2019, allowing us to leave behind a legacy of community and change as we depart our island home.” Bryanna Entwistle, 15.
Project 3: FoodBank
Service partner: There are many community service projects on offer at Dulwich College (Singapore) that students can get involved with. One such partnership is with FoodBank Singapore, an organisation that collects and distributes bags of staple food to families in need.
Student testimonial: “I started to get involved with FoodBank when I was in Year 7 and I’ve been personally involved in planning and organising fundraisers (we raised over $1,000 at the Christmas Fair stall!) to raising awareness through communication and advertising, visiting the warehouse facilities of FoodBank Singapore, packing the bags with food items and delivering them (literally) to the doors of those in need within the Bukit Batok community. I have had the chance to do it all! I have truly enjoyed the experience and love that Community Service is one of the areas within my school day where I can see immediate results of my work and time. I am truly making a difference.” Lucia Tara, 12.
Project 4: Cambodia Hope School
Service partner: Together with World Assistance for Cambodia, Stamford American International School has built a school in Cambodia, giving children in a rural area an opportunity for a better education and a brighter life. In 2016, Grade 10 and 11 Stamford American students visited Cambodia Hope School to see first hand how they could further help this community in need and check out the new library funded by the Stamford PTA Community Service Fund.
Students handed out new school materials, while pupils there shared their learning through music, reading and visual arts. They also engaged in a friendly soccer game and quickly learned that they were no match for the Cambodian players!
Student testimonial: “Being a part of the Cambodia Hope School trip has been one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences I’ve ever had. It was amazing being able to plan the trip and visit the school site and know that we made a huge difference to that small community and the livelihoods of the people. We continue to raise money and awareness and I’m so thankful that I got to witness this progress.” Jaimie Day, Grade 11
Project 5: Koh Chreum School, Cambodia
Service partner: In partnership with United World School’s programme, St Joseph’s Institution International (SJII) sponsors a school in Koh Chreum, a Cambodian village 900km from Phnom Penh on a remote island in the middle of the Mekong River. Each year, SJII students from various grades visit the village to aid in developing the school and training teachers from the village. Last year, SJII’s Grade 11 students were fortunate enough to visit the community and see for themselves the benefits the school’s ongoing partnership was bringing. Students were involved in planning the activities for the trip and shared skills such as art, music and maths once there.
Student testimonial: “This trip was really an eye-opening experience. As someone who has lived in an urban city with a demanding education programme and high expectations, it was hard to picture a place where children are unable to go to school and learn every day and are limited in other things such as health care. I learned to be grateful and to not take for granted the life that I have.” Melissa Yuen Yee Fen, 17.
Learn more about Schools in Singapore